Category Archives: Things on Rings

Classroom Photos 2009-2010, Long Post! :)

I charged my batteries in the camera and took some pictures.  I’ll take you on a tour and you can also check out my photos from last year here to see the differences.

Everything is mostly in the same place, but a few things were changed.  First, I’ll start with some general views:


This is a look at my new computer area; last year the table was perpendicular to where it is now and there was a tall white cabinet in front of the back half of the blue bulletin board you see there.


Looking at my Listening Center Work Station (it’s on the backside of my writing station)


Library Work Station–I moved the book cases around and added my light up palm tree for some fun


Calendar area, bench where I sit, my Big Book teaching cart


The back of my big book cart, this is where Drama Work Station will go–tentatively, I may move it


A view of the mess that is my room! 🙂  The house, loft, my desk and a few tables


My desk, this year I stacked my filing cabinets and moved a table next to my desk.


We moved my son’s train table from home to school and it’s up in the loft now.


Here’s a view of the rest of the loft


My pocket chart stand my hubby built last year–I’ve come up with some new ideas how to use it! 🙂


I use this pencil pouch to store what ever the children are working on at Pocket Chart Work Station


Here’s the new part:  I’m using the back of the chart for Magnetic Work Station during LWS.  Below is an explanation…


Here’s an upclose view.  I just hung it on the 2nd rung down with some of those metal binding rings.


I put magnetic letters in these pencil pouches and velcro-ed  them to the stand…


Here’s the velcro


Sometimes, the children will not be using the board with the spaces I’ve defined.  Instead, they will use these sheets I made last year.


I put magnetic strips on the back to hold them on.


Here’s the desk where my student teacher will sit–do you think she has enough prizes from me?!?!


Binders–waiting for my classlist to arrive so I can write names on them and put their sheet inside for practicing their name


I signed my classroom up through TerraCycle so we can recycle our snack and Capri Sun containers.  These are some I purchased from Target to show my children.


After our first round of Getting to Know you, we will put beads into plastic water bottles with sand so the children can find the letters in their name.


This is how I’ve organized them.


Some birthday certificates I got from the Target dollar spot to recognize birthdays.


A game called Whiz Kids from Discovery Toys I will use with my kids this year.  You pick a letter and a category and then get the number of points on the letter card if you can name something starting with that letter in that category.


This shelf sits next to my bench and will be home to several Literacy Work Stations.


My small group area, parent volunteer area, and where the wonderful, amazing Pam will work!! 🙂


Listening Work Station


The tape recorder sits on top of the cart and the tapes and head phones are stored in the drawers


My basket of things for Pam (yeah!! Pam!!) to copy and pass out to the kids for me.

There it is…I’m going back tomorrow to clean up some more and work on pulling things out for my Math Work Stations and figuring out where they will go! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Updates on Literacy Work Stations

Here are the pictures I promised yesterday showing the new things in our Literacy Work Stations–as always, if you have any questions, please e-mail me at



This is Handwriting Work Station–I added some dry erase slates, some of those Magic Slates (the kind that use static to help you write), and some alphabet writing task cards.


These are the practice cards in use! 🙂


An update to the Word Work Station–this is the “-at” family game.  It was very simple to make, I just printed off the sheet from Word/Excel and wrote “at” on 1/2 of the dice and several other letters on the other (s, m, h, p, b, r). To play the children take one of each kind of dice, roll them and if it is the first time they roll that combination, they record it at the bottom.  After that, they write the word they rolled in the box above where it belongs.

I also added one for the “-an” family as well.  I decided to go with these two because I had already added the word family tins to the station, so they would be familiar with the words, just in a different format.


This is another addition to the Word Work Station.  The children can make various words, and I asked them to write down any words that they make and share them with their partner.  They then need to try to sound out the words and bring it to me to read.


I added several new things to the Games and Puzzles Station.  We have two ABC puzzles, and ABC coloring mat that came with our new handwriting things, and ABC picture cards for the children to match (Letter to Picture).  Also I included Alphabet Lotto for the children to play.


This puzzle really could go to Puzzles and Games, but I put it into ABC Work Station instead.  


This is the rest of ABC Work Station–The blue pencil box has an alphabet puzzle inside, then the ABC rubbing cards, and a small pocket chart I got at Wal-Mart a few summers’ ago.  The children can take the words in the bag on the left and match them to the letters in the bag on the right in the pocket chart.  I also added a set of Alphabet stamps and an ink pad (the paper is 1/2 sheets) and the children are able to stamp words and letters that they know.

Did you notice the colored dots on some of the things?  I labeled the materials in some of my Stations to reflect the levels at which my students are currently at.  There are three levels currently and a dot was placed on each of the children’s name cards in the pouch to reflect the level they are at.  I left enough flexibility in the plan, so that I can change levels if needed throughout the year. When the students go to ta Station, they simply look for materials with a dot that matches their card.



I added several of these sheets to our Overhead Work Station.  I made them with a permanent marker and transparency sheets.  The children place them on the overhead and then fill in the missing letters.

I also had some time during our parent/teacher conferences last week to re-organize my Parent Volunteer Materials.  I used the same “dot” system as for Literacy Work Stations.  I put the children into fluid groups and labeled their sticks with a dot.


When the parents come into help, they just take the sticks from the pocket correlating to the day of the week, look at the dot on the stick, and choose a game or activity that correlates:



We also have a new guest in our room:


See him?  It’s Lucky a box turtle! 🙂  Does anyone know a good way to get rid of fruit flies?  They are hovering around his cage and I feel so bad for him! 🙂


Today we worked on the Little Red Hen, started to read Cook-A-Doodle-Do by Janet Stevens, made a Little Red Hen book that the children cut, colored, and stapled and then took home to help retell the story there.  We also finished our Predictable Chart, “I will help…”.  I have some good helpers in my room! 🙂

We also made patterns with foam shapes and halved sentence strips:



See you tomorrow!

Kristen 🙂


Spiders (day 3)

I went back to school today–although I seriously considered taking another day off just because I could, but I would of needed to drive 45 minutes to school and then back, wasting all that sleeping time, when I could just go and teach!  So I did!  🙂  I’m glad I did, I miss my Kinder. kids!

Here’s what we did today:

We read I Like Spiders and predicted how many times the word “spider” would appear in the story (16).  We then read the story and highlighted the word “spider” and counted as we went.

We also wrote the word “spider” on an index card and that will be the task for the Big Book Work Station.

We then continued on with our Predictable Chart:

And revisited our KWL chart:

Here are the books we will read/have been reading:

We worked on Pattern Block Spiders yesterday:

I can only post a picture because I did not make this one, you could lay down some pattern blocks, trace and make your own! 🙂

Today, we started heavily into patterning and used candy corn!

We had everything from the very simple:

To a very elaborate pattern…

After a little while the Kinder kids had a self imposed contest to see who could make the coolest and best patterns!  That was fun motivation for them to get creative!

I also introduced a few new things into Word Work Station:

I showed these rubbing cards this summer and just introduced them.  I have had many rubbings done of them and some children are choosing just to copy them onto the dry erase boards.

These are word family tins I created using old playing card tins.  I have about 10 of them (the tins came from Teacher’s Treasures 5 years ago) and I just used a permanent marker to write in the inside.  I usually have small scraps of paper inside so the Kinder. kids can write down the words that they make, but we’re still just learning how to use these–maybe the first part of November!

I also introduced this sorting board into ABC Work Station.  Currently, it says “Letters in my name, Letters not in my name” and “Letters with a Curve and Letters without a Curve”.  I wrote it in dry erase marker so it can be changed easily and quickly and used electrical tape to make the lines.

I have a ring of names for the name side so once the Kinder kids are done with their name they can find their friends names and try them too!  I will add a ring with pictures of the Kinder. kids for my non-readers soon.

Kristen 🙂

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A Quick Post…

Here are the gel glue cards I made using Elmer’s blue School Glue Gel (say that 5 times fast!!)  I wrote the letters on index cards using Washable Markers from Crayola and then traced over them with the gel glue.  They also have “Galactic Glitter Glue” available in red or blue as well, and when I’m out today, I may grab some of that and see how that works.

The Kinder. Kids will use these in the ABC Station and use old crayons and make rubbings.  I will have the paper pre-cut for them in various sizes and shapes.  I will also make a set for the Word Work Station, writing words instead of letters.  I will also make several sets of both words and letters without writing anything with a marker first, so the children will have to guess what the letter is as they rub over it.  I’ll be back later with more!

Kristen 🙂

P.S. Either wordpress or my computer are being funky and not letting the picture display below–It comes up if you click on it, hopefully it will work it self out! I may take a minute for it to load too! 🙂

Back to School (not yet!)

I just love Back to School time!!  The sales, the cheap glue sticks, the Dollar Spot at Target, the .88 cent markers at Wal-Mart, the… Oh!  I could go on and on, but you all know what I mean–there’s just  something about those isles that seems to be irresistible to teachers (my husband is a teacher too, but he seems to be immune to it!).  I just wanted to share all my new goodies, those that are in the house, and those that are in the car because I don’t want to lug them inside and then back out to the car again in a few days! 🙂

I purchased ANOTHER hardware storage drawer thing, this time to store my magnetic letters.  I thought this would be a great way to store them and keep them organized!

I then went to the Dollar Tree and found these cute little jungle animal themed erasers.  There are 40 in each backpack.  I got giraffes, elephants, and tigers.   I think they will be cute for sorting, patterning, and for math mats.

I thought these were so funny!  They are party favors made to look like coins, but they are all about 1 1/2 inches across.  I thought they would be great for calendar time, to show the kids the differences between the coins.  When I opened them up, they were even funnier, because some of the quarters/dimes were copper colored and some of the pennies were silver.  No nickels though…

These disposable gloves will become planters later on this year.  We will put cotton balls into the fingers of each area in the glove and place a bean seed (I think we may try others too just to see what happens).  Some we will water and some we will not.  We will then talk about the differences and what we see happening.  I think some will also be put into a dark area too.

Also at the Dollar Tree, were these sentence strips.  There are 30 in a pack and I got two packs.  I will use them for Literacy Work Stations management and for names on rings at various stations.

I also got these games.  The first one (on top) you match the upper to the lowercase letter, the middle one you build words, and the bottom one you put 3 cards together to make a complete picture.  I thought I would use them at the ABC Literacy Station.

Next up, this cool thermometer that I will hang on the outside of the window so we can look at it during calendar time and record the temperature (a form of measurement!!).  It was only a buck, so there’s no telling how long it will last!

On to the Target Dollar Spot!  I went to 7 different Target’s yesterday searching for more pocket charts to no avail!!!  All 7 were all out!  But I did pick up these letter mats–also for the ABC Station, you trace them for practice, uppercase on one side and lowercase on the other.

In my quest for pocket charts I came across these mini dry erase/magnetic boards.  At one place I got 6 and at another I got 6 more.  I may go back for a few more, but 12 may be enough! 🙂  I will use them for small group work, in the magnetic Station, for quick assessment, and other handy things!

A few assorted supplies.  4 new boxes of Crayola Markers ( I collect all things Crayola, so I love getting new ones!!).  I also got some glitter pencils from the Dollar Spot for the Writing Station, some name cards for various uses, and some more dry erase markers (they’re 30% off until midnight tonight!!).

This was a trip to Wal-Mart.  .88 markers!  .88 colored pencils! .88 Bic pens (my son put those in the cart!).  I also got some more tape for my label maker, some pencil grips, and some blue gel glue.  I will use the glue to make raised letters on index cards and have the kids rub over them in the ABC Station for texture! 🙂

This was another find at a different Dollar Tree…place mats that are solid colors and are 12×12.  We will use these under our playdough.  I like that they are smooth instead of with ridges, and I will start the kids out with these and then replace them with the textured ones they usually have.  I also got 3 packs of colored index cards to make more sight words on a ring.

Last, but not least–a trip to the teacher store!  My husband groans everytime I mention this place because he knows I will spend some money! 🙂  I’ve been really good though and have hardly been in the last 2 years!

I got some Wikki Stix and highlighter tape this trip.  The tape is in two sizes for Big Books and small books.  In Debbie Diller’s book, she mentions having this accessable for the kids to use and laminating file folders so the kids can put it there after using it for reuse later.

I also have some things in the car…

I got a set of uppercase alphabet stamps at Toys R Us on clearance for $7.49, 10 new book buckets at Dollar Tree, 30 spiral notebooks at Target, Lite Brite Refills, two I Spy puzzles, a Dora the Explorer ABC matching game (meijer on clearance), and some PVC pipe and glue to build another chart stand-this one to hold the 24×36 sized chart paper.  I’m going to make that one myself, so we’ll see how that goes!  Hopefully, it will end up in my poetry Station!

Kristen 🙂

P.S. If anyone finds 14 pocket charts from the Dollar Spot, I would love to have some!! I’ll pay for shipping too!  I’ll even send some of my handmade cards in your favorite colors!

Another use for table top PVC chart

I also belong to the KinderKorner group and had a question about materials falling out of the pocket charts because they hang straight down.  So the pocket chart now hangs at a slight angle, enough to keep those materials in and Kinder. Kids happy! 🙂

To accomodate that, I simply punched some holes at the bottom of the chart with my Crop-A-Dile (We R Memory Keepers makes them), but I think a regular hole punch would work too and inserted grommets or large sized eyelets.

EDIT~*~*I think this would work even if you didn’t set grommets or eyelets in the chart because it’s make of thicker plastic~*~*~

I then secured the  chart to the leg (originally meant to hold up a big book) with large book binding rings:

Here are several views of the idea.  The rings can easily be removed so that it can be used for big books as well.  Hope this makes sense!

Kristen 🙂

ABC Literacy Work Station

I am almost done with the chapter on ABC Literacy Stations in Debbie Diller’s book Literacy Work Stations–I have to keep putting it down, processing, reading some more, processing, reading more, processing, because its FULL of such great information that I have to think about what I am reading, jot down a few notes, then read some more (oh, and in between, do the laundry, keep my hubby company, make sure my son is fed, take the dogs out, make cards, clean, and on and on!)

The latest idea that I read about was for those Kinder. kids at the beginning of the year, you know the ones that have little to no letter knowledge.  These activities are for them–these are sorting mats that they can use with magnetic letters (either on a cookie sheet or on a magnetic dry erase board).  They sort the letters in various ways to become aware of the letters, their formations, and the letter names.  A suggestion that Debbie Diller makes is to store materials in color coded tubs so that when different children visit the station, they can work on an activity that matches their current ability level–these sheets would go into the “green” tub, or beginning tub.  The colors are just a suggested order, you could use whatever makes sense to you.

I’ve also included sheets to put on a cookie sheet for simple matching.  The children take one sheet with a part of the alphabet and place magnetic letters over the typed images, matching them.  To make it harder, you could have them match the lowercase letters that are typed to the uppercase partner.  I will make the uppercase version soon and post that too!


Another beautiful thing about this book is that Debbie talks about introducing each station and gives you some ideas how to do that!  I could see these sheets being used on an overhead at the beginning of the year and then placed into the ABC Literacy Work Station.

Kristen 🙂

P.S. Just as an afterthought–I could see this being used for numbers as well–I’ll get right on that and post a sheet on the math page!

Here is the uppercase version and the math version is on the math tab!


Ah-Ha again…

Well, I am so excited about Literacy Work Stations!  I am more than 1/2 way through the book–I have so many ideas, I have no idea where to start!  I decided to keep a legal pad next to me as I’m reading to jot notes in and write down things I need to do before school starts to get the Work Stations off and running!  I think my most favorite part is that I’ve only written down three things that I need to go buy (and I don’t really need them, but they will enhance what I’m doing), and the rest of the things I already have–that’s why I love this book so much, my hubby is enjoying it too-I’m not spending all our money on new things!  Here’s my list:

4 more mini pocket charts from Target

Glitter pencils from Target Dollar Spot

another hardware storage drawer system with 24 drawers

Total: under $30!

As I was reading the sections on Big Books, Writing Work Stations, ABC Work Stations, and Word Word Stations, the common theme was to have task cards so the children could have words to draw from (sight words) and find and use them in their Station work.  I decided to make it simple for myself (we have a list of 61 sight words the 1st grade teachers want our Kinder Kids to know).  Do I really want to sit and write the same words over and over again on index cards? NO!! It’s summer vacation!  So, I imported them into Word and made them into 2×4 inch sized labels, printed them out and stuck them on 3×5 index cards, punched a hole with my Crop-A-Dile (see below) and inserted a metal ring.  I have 10-15 more sets to make in varying sizes, but the first set is done!

The Kinder Kids will use them to make words with magnets, practice writing them, put them in ABC order, group them by syllable, sort by number of letters, trace them, write them in shaving cream, make them with playdough, use them for writing, find the words in Big Books, find the words in trade books in the Library Work Station, etc…

They are so easy to make, and I’m attaching the labels so you can print them out (Avery 8361 sized labels 2×4)  and some  pictures.


Are they incredibly amazing? No, but I think my kids will learn the sight words more quickly by constantly having them in front of them and using them a variety of ways!

Kristen 🙂

Small PVC Pocket Chart Stand

Aren’t husbands the best??…mine is also a teacher so he understands my crazy Kindergarten teacher brain–most of the time anyway, and because of that, I can get him to build me most things I need.  Today, we took a trip to Lowe’s and got all the materials to make these small, table top PVC pocket chart stands.  They are perfect for the Pocket Charts available right now in the Dollar Spot at Target (July 2008).  I got 6 of them and had him build me 3 stands, thinking I would have two stuudents work back to back on them.

After he built one, we decided to extend the feet a little and make it a dual purpose stand.  It can also hold Big Books!!  So, after I nicely asked him to build me 3, I think I may ask him to build me one more so I can use it just for Big Books!  I also know there is some spray paint out there for plastic, so I may jazz these up a little doing that.

BTW…the pocket charts have a strange odor to them, almost like a moth ball smell.  I noticed that the teachers on were talking about it too–it seems that a little Febreeze and Lysol spray and a good soak in the good old sunshine is doing the trick to get the smell out.  Just know when you open your’s it too will smell!

Now on to the pictures…

I just asked my hubby really nicely, and he is going to let me take pictures of him building the 3rd one, so I will post those so you can see how it all goes together and we will post a materials list too!

Kristen 🙂

P.S. I am using shower curtain rings to hold the chart on to the stand.  I just wanted to say…I sure do love my hubby!  He is so great–I get flowers for no reason at all, just because!  I am truly so lucky to have him! 🙂

Time Filler Cards

I got these flash card type cards in the Dollar Spot at Target earlier this week.  When I saw them, I thought that I could punch holes in them and put a binder ring in them–so that’s what I did!  I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch the holes in the cards.  If you don’t have a Crop-A-Dile–you need to get one!!  I am also a card maker/scrapbooker and this is a tool I use to punch holes and get eyelets in my cards and pages.  It punches through 10 sheets of paper, leather belts, and punched through 8 of these cards at a time–making quick work of this project!

I will hang these on a hook by my classroom door and use them when we are lined up waiting or waiting for others to line up, or even in line at the bathroom.  Last year my “reward system” was to give the kids tickets and they could buy things from me at “store” on Fridays.  This year, I will be using the Mini-Economy, but I think I will still give out tickets and when they get 10 of them, they can trade them in for One Mini-Economy Buck. So if I am using these cards with them and they get my question correct, they will get a ticket (at least during 1st semester).

More on the Mini-Economy to come…I’ve signed up to take an 8 day workshop through IUPUI called Using Children’s Literature to Teach Economics.  We will learn all about the Mini-Economy and have to design a lesson that we will use during the school year.  So…I will post my lesson after I get it completed!

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